UIS Commission on Karst Hydrogeology and Speleogenesis
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Glossary of Karst and Cave Terms

histo, histoplasmosis
The disease caused by the fungus Histoplasma capsulatum, found in bird and bat guano, especially in the southern USA and the tropics. An occupational disease of cavers, aviary and poultry workers, guano miners, and maintenance workers. Infection is usually caused by breathing the microscopic spores, which infect the lungs, or sometimes the eye. Flu-like symptoms accompanied by low-grade fever, breathing difficulties and pain, and miasma may start about 14 days after exposure and continue for weeks, months, or rarely until death, usually from complications. Treatable with various anti-fungals, such as itroconazole. Often misdiagnosed, as the standard tests may give a false negative [23].